American Institute of Physics
The authors report on thin-film processing improvements in the fabrication of superconducting quasiparticle-trap-assisted electrothermal-feedback transition-edge sensors used in the design of cryogenic dark matter search detectors. The work was performed as part of a detector upgrade project that included optimization of a new confocal sputtering system and development of etch recipes compatible with patterning 40 nm-thick, α-β mixed-phase W films deposited on 300–600 nm-thick, patterned Al. The authors found that their standard exothermic Al wet etch recipes provided inadequate W/Al interfaces and led to poor device performance. The authors developed a modified Al wet-etch recipe that effectively mitigates geometrical step-coverage limitations while maintaining their existing device design. Data presented here include scanning electron microscope and focused ion beam images of films and device interfaces obtained with the new Al etch method. The authors also introduce a method for quantitatively measuring the energy collection efficiency through these interfaces.
Kreikebaum, J. M., Cabrera, B., Yen, J. J., Brink, P. L., Cherry, M., Tomada, A., & Young, B. A. (2014). Confocal sputtering of conformal α-β phase W films on etched Al features. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 33(1), 011203. https://doi.org/10.1116/1.4904422